Monday, May 2, 2011

Baby Boomers and Ducks with Additude

What's New, Cupcake?: Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every OccasionIn honor of watching a film about a generation of people who are about to give birth to one of the biggest population booms in our history "Baby Boomers" I decided to showcase my latent cupcake talents.  Also I had to go to a baby shower.

Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can MakeI have recently come into possession of some books on cupcakes, called Hello, Cupcake and What's New, Cupcake and have finally decided to use some of their recipes.  I always thought these cupcakes beautiful but was concerned that there was no way I could even make them, despite what the clever cookbook said.  But upon investigating the website I saw one of the creators, Karen Tack, blithely making adorable ducks.  And I thought, she makes it look so simple.  I could totally do that!

As you may have noticed on this blog, when I say "I could totally do that!"  trouble inevitably follows.  I am far too stubborn for my own good, and have a never say die attitude when it comes to baking.  I made duck and flower cupcakes.  The flowers I would definitely make again.  The ducks...not so much.

Cute Ducks from the Devil
You'll need:
10 vanilla cupcakes in yellow wrappers
2-3 cans of vanilla frosting (yes, cans.  Only the synthetic stuff has the write consistency, much to my chagrin)
yellow food coloring
5 large marshmallows
10 plain doughnut holes
10 orange fruit chews (or gross orange peanut candies)
20 brown M&Ms

  1. Mix together about two cans of frosting with enough food coloring to get that bright yellow ducky color in a microwavable measuring cup.  Set aside.
  2. Cover all the cupcakes with a light layer of the white frosting.
  3. Use a scissors to divide the marshmallows in half, and attach both the marshmallows and the doughnut holes to the cupcake.  The doughnuts are the heads, the marshmallows, the tails.  Use the white frosting in a frosting piping bag (or ziplock with the tip snipped off) to help secure both ends.  Think of the frosting like glue.  Place all the cupcakes in the freezer for 15 minutes or until a little frozen.
  4. Microwave the yellow frosting, stopping to stir frequently, until the frosting has a liquid consistency.
  5. Remove each cupcake one by one from the freezer, and then dip upside down in the yellow frosting, coating the cupcake all over and allowing the excess frosting to drip back into the measuring cup.  Set aside and let cupcakes dry.
  6. For the beaks, use the scissors to snip the candies, and attach to the doughnuts.  Use the white frosting in the piping bag to attach the M&Ms as eyes.
  7. Drink a large glass of wine, because man was that a bitch.

Yup, you can tell from my many sarcastic comments that these ducks were not easy, nor as perfect as I would have liked.  Damn you, Karen.  Luckily I did not make that many of these.  Also luckily, the flower cupcakes were much MUCH easier.  And very pretty.  Does anyone know why my ducks are so creepy?

Chrysanthemums from Marshmallows
You'll Need:
24 chocolate cupcakes with paper liners
1-2 cans of vanilla frosting
1 bag of mini marshmallows
Various colored decorating sugars
Left over yellow frosting from ducks, or appropriate yellow candy for center
  1. Separate each different color sugar into individual bowls.
  2. Using sharp scissors, cut the mini marshmallows in half and place them sticky side down in the sugars.
  3. Toss the marshmallows to coat, the sticky side should be completely covered in colored sugars.
  4. Frost each cupcake individually, placing the marshmallows in concentric circles.  See my pictures below.  DO NOT frost all the cupcakes and then stick the marshmallows on.  The frosting will harden, making it more difficult for the marshmallows to stick.
  5. Leave a small space in the center and fill with yellow candy or yellow frosting.
  6. If you want to go crazy (like Karen) use green licorice as stems on your plate.
These were great.  It was an easy project to do in front of the television, didn't take very long, and the results were gorgeous and impressive.  They were also much easier to transport than the ducks, which were pretty top heavy.  These are great for Mother's Day, Baby Showers, or just a Birthday!

So in case you weren't paying  Ducks=sent from the Devil.  I'm also waiting for the point when one of my friends sees this post and asks me why I have so much time on my hands.  Hush.  These are awesome.  And you said I'd never make anything from these books!

I would also like to mention that Martha Steward makes an amazing cupcake carrying case.  One side is a flat tray for cookies, but if you flip it upside down it has little holes to hold cupcakes.  There are two interlocking tiers that fit inside the case.  It's totally worth it.  Look!

PS-All recipes are from the delightful books above.  I can't take credit for any of it!
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1 comment:

  1. maybe the ducks are off because of the regular sized m&m's? the mini's might make everything more proportional.
    your flowers turned out really great!